St. Mark’s welcomed five industry-leading scientists and doctors to campus for the 2016 STEM Conference, celebrating careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
This year’s guests included software engineer Mark Stevens ’05, who has worked on various projects at YouTube and Google including, most recently, the self-driving car program; Dr. Chess Stetson ’97, CEO of Helynx, Inc., a software company that analyzes massive amounts of data to find variances and solve problems in multiple fields from medicine to sports; Dr. Bradford Hirsch ’97, an oncologist involved in a number of high-profile medical start-ups; Dr. Gary Weinstein, father of Kyle ’15 and one of the central physicians involved in treating patients of the 2015 Ebola outbreak in the United States; and Carl Zimmer, a science writer who has published numerous books and contributed to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and This American Life. Carl Zimmer also served as this year’s Willard E. Walker, Jr. ’66 Visiting Scholar. He came to campus a day early and hosted a special assembly titled A Journey to the Center of the Brain.
During the STEM Conference, the five guests visited classrooms and participated in a panel discussion during a special Upper School assembly. Each shared their experiences with students and discussed some of the exciting advances on the horizon.
“In the same way that the self-driving car is going to change the way we think about driving, the way doctors use data is going to change the way we think about medicine,” Dr. Chess Stetson ’97 said. His sentiment was echoed by Dr. Bradford Hirsch ’97, who said, “What it means to be a doctor is going to fundamentally change before many of you who choose to do so become doctors. It will be less about learning the volumes of literature and more about interacting directly with the patient, while computers support us and make sure we get the data right.”
The 2016 STEM Conference was organized by co-chairs Abhi Thummala ’16, Tim O'Meara ’16, and Vik Reddy ’17.
St. Mark’s School of Texas is a private, nonsectarian college-preparatory boys’ day school for students in grades 1 through 12, located in Dallas, Texas. St. Mark’s aims to prepare young men to assume leadership and responsibility in a competitive and changing world.